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SAP Fashion Statement

Tight budgets at shoe and clothing retailers give edge to modular ERP vendors
SAP's modular approach to selling technology is helping it cut a swath through the apparel and footwear industry. The Benetton Group said last week it's purchasing 1,500 licenses for SAP Apparel and Footwear, and sales for that SAP division have doubled this year over last, group VP Esther Lutz says.

Benetton will replace disparate legacy systems with SAP, giving it better product planning, sourcing, distribution, and supply-chain visibility. SAP has signed 14 shoe and clothing retailers as new customers this year, including Brioni, Fila, Fossil, and Levi Strauss. With IT budgets trimmed, many retailers choose a modular approach, which favors large ERP vendors, says Tom Compernolle, a retail consultant at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young.

SAP brought supply-chain efficiencies that helped Bruno Magli U.S. deal with 30% sales increases while cutting inventory by half, president Peter Grueterich says. Everyone at the shoemaker, he says, "breathes and lives SAP."

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